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Cellphones are not the only distractions for truckers

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial drivers' inattention to the road is a major contributor to large-truck crashes. A 2009 study found that in 71 percent of cases, such accidents occurred when truckers were not focused on driving. As any Tennessee truck accident attorney would know, combating such behavior requires a full understanding of what causes driver distraction. Cellphone use, a commonly-discussed source of distraction, is not the only thing that may affect a driver's concentration.

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Eating and drinking

During busy days, many people try to maximize their time by eating meals while working. When truck drivers do this, however, they are engaging in very dangerous behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating and driving is worse than driving while talking on the phone.

Despite these findings, it appears that drivers do not understand the dangers of having a meal while operating a vehicle. An FMCSA survey found that less than half of drivers-both commercial and non-commercial-thought it could be distracting to eat and drive. Any Tennessee truck accident attorney would note that lives could be saved if more drivers understood the danger of this behavior.

Losing focus on the road

Driving can get monotonous, especially for those who are on the road for hours at a time. This may make it easy for truckers to let their gazes stray from the road. Doing so may seem inconsequential, but even a moment of inattention may lead to a serious crash. According to the FMCSA, looking away from the road was a factor in about 11,000 truck accidents over a 3-year period.

Writing notes and referring to maps

Distraction.gov notes that people who write and drive are eight times as likely to be in a safety-critical event, such as a crash or a near-crash. Those who drive while reading a map are seven times as likely to be involved in such in an event. It makes sense that truck drivers would regularly need to write down instructions and consult maps. These statistics, however, indicate that it is quite dangerous to do so while driving.

Commercial trucks are inherently dangerous machines. One mistake by a driver and these vehicles can quickly cause serious accidents. When a truck driver is distracted, the chance of such a mistake occurring increases exponentially. Those who have been hurt because of a distracted truck driver may wish to pursue their civil litigation options. This may provide a way to recoup any financial losses that stemmed from the accident. In addition, it may provide a way to bring further attention to distracted truck driving. Speaking with a Tennessee truck accident attorney may help such victims determine whether filing a lawsuit is the right step for them.

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